A Spectator’s Guide to Movember and No Shave November

As November begins, Daylight Saving Time ends and we approach peak pumpkin-spice consumption. Over the last few years, however, male facial hair has had its moment, too.

Movember, No Shave November, and other increasingly popular charity efforts tied to facial-hair-pruning also kick off in November, and it seems, everywhere you look, someone is not shaving.

This can be a good thing in some cases. You suddenly realize that the baby-faced barista at your coffee shop looks mighty fine with a five-errrr-eight-o’clock shadow, and you begin to fantasize about how much warmer your face might be if it were physically possible for you to grow your own cozy, lush beard a la Kathy Bates on American Horror Story.

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Other times it’s just awkward. Not shaving for a month is a very visible test of your male colleagues’ and friends’ genetic ability to sprout facial hair. Not everyone can pull it off. And not all of your better-off-beardless friends can admit it to themselves that it ain’t happening. Ever.

Here’s what to expect on the chins and lips of most guys you know this November:

November 3: The guy from your office who only makes himself visible when free cake or pizza are available suddenly announces that he’s joined the fight for Movember. He eagerly strokes his otherwise hair-free chin and eyeballs the break room for leftover doughnuts.

November 4: Another cubicle colleague sheepishly admits that they think the No Shave November concept is pretty cool and begins to sprout a shadow. Movember man raises his brow and strokes his still hair-free chin, subconsciously urging all to migrate to his upper lip.

November 6: Movember and No Shave are neck-and-neck in scruff accumulation and it’s begun a spark in other men in the office. Soon everyone starts to look a bit burlier, a shade fuzzier, but no one seems to mention it.

Portrait of a casual young man.

November 7: Soon a formal announcement is made by management: Grow a beard! Or don’t! It’s a great cause and we’re joining, too! Beards for everyone! Co-signed by Movember Moocher.

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November 8: Bar bouncers seem more suspicious than normal of underage trickery. The abundance of scruff on a Saturday night has sent them into high alert, and suddenly the bouncer is staring a little too long at your fella’s eyes.

November 15: It’s become clear who in the office really can grow a beard, and who really can’t. If it wasn’t for the charities involved, you’d give a few of your friends a Schick and a caring “It’s time’’ look.

November 17: Full beards have been spotted. Some mustaches are maintained. Everyone starts to look slightly creepy, if not also splotchy.

November 21: The thrill is gone. Everyone looks creepy.

November 24: Some beards and mustaches have disappeared. No one says a word.

November 25: Whole Foods has reached peak beard. So many beards in the produce section that food safety laws should be taken into account.

November 26: When pressed, the freshly shaven sheepishly admit their wives/girlfriends/boyfriends/lovers/dog didn’t like their ‘stashe. Movember moocher shakes his well-coiffed head in disapproval.

November 28: You notice even fewer bears in the office the day after Thanksgiving, and each clean chin marks the mama’s boys for what they are.

November 29: The bars are overflowing with facial hair. No one gets carded. Everyone is of age! Bouncers look concerned, but they too have sprouted chin beards of their very own.

December 3: A few guys still have their beards in an obvious attempt to just be beard guys from now on. It’s not the guys who should keep their beards. Now you really do bring the Schick and sad look to their desks.

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